Victoria (Australia)

Victoria (Australia)

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Victoria is the second most populous state
States and territories of Australia
The Commonwealth of Australia is a union of six states and various territories. The Australian mainland is made up of five states and three territories, with the sixth state of Tasmania being made up of islands. In addition there are six island territories, known as external territories, and a...

 in Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

. Geographically the smallest mainland state, Victoria is bordered by New South Wales
New South Wales
New South Wales is a state of :Australia, located in the east of the country. It is bordered by Queensland, Victoria and South Australia to the north, south and west respectively. To the east, the state is bordered by the Tasman Sea, which forms part of the Pacific Ocean. New South Wales...

, South Australia
South Australia
South Australia is a state of Australia in the southern central part of the country. It covers some of the most arid parts of the continent; with a total land area of , it is the fourth largest of Australia's six states and two territories.South Australia shares borders with all of the mainland...

, and Tasmania
Tasmania
Tasmania is an Australian island and state. It is south of the continent, separated by Bass Strait. The state includes the island of Tasmania—the 26th largest island in the world—and the surrounding islands. The state has a population of 507,626 , of whom almost half reside in the greater Hobart...

 on Boundary Islet
Boundary Islet
Boundary Islet is an islet about 60,000 square metres in size in the Hogan Group of islands and islets at latitude 39°12' S, south of the Wilsons Promontory, the southernmost part of both mainland Australia and mainland Victoria...

 to the north, west and south respectively.

Victoria is Australia's most densely populated state, and has a highly centralised population, with almost 75% of Victorians living in Melbourne
Melbourne
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The Melbourne City Centre is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division—of which "Melbourne" is the common name. As of June 2009, the greater...

, the state capital and largest city.

Etymology


Victoria, like Queensland
Queensland
Queensland is a state of Australia, occupying the north-eastern section of the mainland continent. It is bordered by the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales to the west, south-west and south respectively. To the east, Queensland is bordered by the Coral Sea and Pacific Ocean...

, was named after Queen Victoria
Victoria of the United Kingdom
Victoria was the monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. From 1 May 1876, she used the additional title of Empress of India....

, the monarch at the time.

History



After the founding of the colony of New South Wales in 1788, Australia was divided into an eastern half named New South Wales and a western half named New Holland
New Holland (Australia)
New Holland is a historic name for the island continent of Australia. The name was first applied to Australia in 1644 by the Dutch seafarer Abel Tasman as Nova Hollandia, naming it after the Dutch province of Holland, and remained in use for 180 years....

, under the administration
Administration (government)
The term administration, as used in the context of government, differs according to jurisdiction.-United States:In United States usage, the term refers to the executive branch under a specific president , for example: the "Barack Obama administration." It can also mean an executive branch agency...

 of the colonial government in Sydney. The first European settlement in the area later known as Victoria was established in October 1803 under Lieutenant-Governor David Collins
David Collins (governor)
Colonel David Collins was the first Lieutenant Governor of the Colony of Van Diemens Land, founded in 1804, which in 1901 became the state of Tasmania in the Commonwealth of Australia.-Early life and military career:...

 at Sullivan Bay, Victoria
Sullivan Bay, Victoria
Sullivan Bay lies 60 km due south of Melbourne on Port Phillip, one kilometre east of Sorrento, Victoria. It was established as a short-lived convict settlement in 1803 by Lieutenant Colonel David Collins. The site was chosen because of its strategic location near the entrance of the Bay...

 on Port Phillip
Port Phillip
Port Phillip Port Phillip Port Phillip (also commonly referred to as Port Phillip Bay or (locally) just The Bay, is a large bay in southern Victoria, Australia; it is the location of Melbourne. Geographically, the bay covers and the shore stretches roughly . Although it is extremely shallow for...

. It consisted of 308 convicts, 51 marines, 17 free settlers, 12 civil officers, a missionary and his wife. They had been sent from England in HMS Calcutta
HMS Calcutta (1795)
HMS Calcutta was an East Indiaman converted to a Royal Navy 56-gun fourth rate. This ship of the line served for a time as an armed transport. She also transported convicts to Australia in a voyage that became a circumnavigation of the world. The French 74-gun Magnanime captured Calcutta in 1805...

 under the command of Captain Daniel Woodriff, principally out of fear that the French, who had been exploring the area, might establish their own settlement and thereby challenge British rights to the continent.

Victoria's next settlement was at Portland
Portland, Victoria
The city of Portland is the oldest European settlement in what is now the state of Victoria, Australia. It is the main urban centre of the Shire of Glenelg. It is located on Portland Bay.-History:...

, on the west coast of what is now Victoria. Edward Henty
Edward Henty
See also Western District Edward Henty ,was a pioneer and first permanent settler in the Port Phillip district , Australia....

 settled Portland Bay in 1834. Shortly after arriving from Tasmania in December 1834, Henty (aged 24 yrs) set off for thickly-populated country inland from Portland, with resident whalers, an Aboriginal
Australian Aborigines
Australian Aborigines , also called Aboriginal Australians, from the latin ab originem , are people who are indigenous to most of the Australian continentthat is, to mainland Australia and the island of Tasmania...

 woman abducted by one of them and 14 hunting dogs (a cross between greyhound
Greyhound
The Greyhound is a breed of sighthound that has been primarily bred for coursing game and racing, and the breed has also recently seen a resurgence in its popularity as a pedigree show dog and family pet. It is a gentle and intelligent breed...

 and wolfhound
Wolfhound
Wolfhound can refer to various breeds of dogs that have been bred to hunt wolves or to established lines of wolf-dog crosses that retain significant characteristics of wolves. Wolf-dog hybrids crossed in recent generations are often referred to as wolfdogs, wolf-dog hybrids or wolf crosses, but...

}. On spotting a single Aboriginal man, the men set the dogs on him.

Melbourne was founded in 1835 by John Batman
John Batman
John Batman was an Australian grazier, businessman and explorer who is best known for his role in the founding of a settlement which became Melbourne and the colony of Victoria.-Life:...

. From settlement the region around Melbourne was known as the Port Phillip District, a separately administered part of New South Wales.

Impact of colonisation on Aborigines


At the start of colonisation, what is now Victoria
Victoria
- Given name :* Victoria , word origin and list of people* Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, Empress of India * Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden * Victoria of Baden , the queen-consort of Sweden as wife of King Gustaf V...

, was already settled and well populated by Aboriginal
Victorian Aborigines
The Indigenous Australians of Victoria, Australia occupied the land for tens of thousands of years prior to European settlement. According to Gary Presland Aborigines have lived in Victoria for about 40,000 years living a semi-nomadic existence of fishing, hunting and gathering, and farming...

 groups. The problem was that this was not recognised—legally or in practice—by the British Crown. With pastoral land in the colony of Van Diemen's Land
Van Diemen's Land
Van Diemen's Land was the original name used by most Europeans for the island of Tasmania, now part of Australia. The Dutch explorer Abel Tasman was the first European to land on the shores of Tasmania...

 fully allocated to colonists, and Batman himself already a significant land-owner, he turned his attention to mainland land speculation at Port Phillip Bay, which began in 1835 without the consent of the British Crown and at an enormous cost in the lives and livelihoods of its Aboriginal
Victorian Aborigines
The Indigenous Australians of Victoria, Australia occupied the land for tens of thousands of years prior to European settlement. According to Gary Presland Aborigines have lived in Victoria for about 40,000 years living a semi-nomadic existence of fishing, hunting and gathering, and farming...

 land-owners. With no legal recognition or protection of the Aboriginal land-owners, violence ensued. For example, in August 1836, Aborigines killed the squatter Charles Franks and an unnamed shepherd, at Franks' station on the Werribee River
Werribee River
The Werribee River is located on the plain west of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The headwaters of a tributary, the Lerderderg River, are north of Ballan near Daylesford and it flows across the basalt plain, through the suburb of Werribee to enter Port Phillip. A linear park follows the Werribee...

 (near Melbourne). In response, Henry Batman (John Batman
John Batman
John Batman was an Australian grazier, businessman and explorer who is best known for his role in the founding of a settlement which became Melbourne and the colony of Victoria.-Life:...

's brother) led an indiscriminate punitive expedition against 70–80 Aborigines (men, women and children) living in nine large huts on the Werribee River
Werribee River
The Werribee River is located on the plain west of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The headwaters of a tributary, the Lerderderg River, are north of Ballan near Daylesford and it flows across the basalt plain, through the suburb of Werribee to enter Port Phillip. A linear park follows the Werribee...

, killing an unrecorded number. In spite of this, in May 1837, Henry Batman ". . . was appointed acting Commissioner of Crown Lands, the official charged with overseeing the squatters". Earlier, on 4 March 1837, Governor Bourke in his visit to Melbourne addressed 120 Aborigines, ". . . whom he exhorted . . . to good conduct and attention to the Missionary". The Kulin
Kulin
The Kulin nation, was an alliance of five Indigenous Australian nations in Central Victoria, Australia, prior to European settlement. Their collective territory extended to around Port Phillip and Western Port, up into the Great Dividing Range and the Loddon and Goulburn River valleys. To their...

 were given blankets and four favoured men, who had been recommended for "honorary distinctions" by [Police Magistrate Captain William] Lonsdale, were awarded brass plates.

By 1839, large numbers of homeless, dispossessed Aborigines
Australian Aborigines
Australian Aborigines , also called Aboriginal Australians, from the latin ab originem , are people who are indigenous to most of the Australian continentthat is, to mainland Australia and the island of Tasmania...

, refugees from surrounding pastoral districts, were ". . . surviving whenever and however they could on the geographic, social and economic margins of the town [i.e. Melbourne]." When George Augustus Robinson
George Augustus Robinson
George Augustus Robinson was a builder and untrained preacher. He was the Chief Protector of Aborigines in Port Phillip District from 1839 to 1849...

 arrived in the town in the winter of 1839, " . . . four to five hundred blacks of the Port Phillip
Port Phillip
Port Phillip Port Phillip Port Phillip (also commonly referred to as Port Phillip Bay or (locally) just The Bay, is a large bay in southern Victoria, Australia; it is the location of Melbourne. Geographically, the bay covers and the shore stretches roughly . Although it is extremely shallow for...

 tribes . . ." were gathering at a camp site on the south bank of the Yarra River
Yarra River
The Yarra River, originally Birrarung, is a river in east-central Victoria, Australia. The lower stretches of the river is where the city of Melbourne was established in 1835 and today Greater Melbourne dominates and influences the landscape of its lower reaches...

, suffering hunger and disease. By 1840, Robinson still ". . . had no stores allocated to him . . ." by Captain William Lonsdale (colonist)
William Lonsdale (colonist)
William Lonsdale supervised the founding of the official settlement at Port Phillip from 1836 and went on to serve under the Superintendent La Trobe from 1839 to 1854.-Early life:...

, the Police Magistrate in Melbourne
Melbourne
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The Melbourne City Centre is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division—of which "Melbourne" is the common name. As of June 2009, the greater...

, even though ". . . it was patently obvious that the Aborigines
Australian Aborigines
Australian Aborigines , also called Aboriginal Australians, from the latin ab originem , are people who are indigenous to most of the Australian continentthat is, to mainland Australia and the island of Tasmania...

 were starving, and many were ill and near death . . .". With land in the hinterland overrun by ". . . vast numbers of sheep and cattle . . ." and ". . . conditions in the countryside becoming intolerable, the blacks swarmed into Melbourne looking for food and blankets".

Between 1836 and 1842, Victorian Aboriginal
Victorian Aborigines
The Indigenous Australians of Victoria, Australia occupied the land for tens of thousands of years prior to European settlement. According to Gary Presland Aborigines have lived in Victoria for about 40,000 years living a semi-nomadic existence of fishing, hunting and gathering, and farming...

 groups were largely dispossessed of territory bigger than England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. By January 1844, there were said to be 675 Aborigines resident in squalid camps in Melbourne
Melbourne
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The Melbourne City Centre is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division—of which "Melbourne" is the common name. As of June 2009, the greater...

. Although the British Colonial Office appointed 5 "Aboriginal Protectors" for the entire Aboriginal population of Victoria, arriving in Melbourne
Melbourne
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The Melbourne City Centre is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division—of which "Melbourne" is the common name. As of June 2009, the greater...

 in 1839, they worked ". . . within a land policy that nullified their work, and there was no political will to change this". "It was government policy to encourage squatters to take possession of whatever [Aboriginal] land they chose, . . . that largely explains why almost all the original inhabitants of Port Phillip's vast grasslands were dead so soon after 1835". By 1845, fewer than 240 wealthy Europeans held all the pastoral licences then issued in Victoria and became the patriarchs " . . . that were to wield so much political and economic power in Victoria for generations to come".

Creation of separate colony of Victoria


With the Aboriginal population dispossessed of their lands and their management of fire having been disrupted for almost 15 years, the Colony experienced for the first time its largest ever bushfires, burning about 25% of the land area of Victoria on Black Thursday (1851)
Black Thursday (1851)
The Black Thursday bushfires were a devastating series of fires that swept the state of Victoria, Australia on 6 February 1851. They are considered the largest Australian bushfires in a populous region in recorded history, with approximately 5 million hectares, or a quarter of Victoria, being burnt...

 on 6 February 1851.

On 15 November 1851, the British Government separated the area from New South Wales, proclaiming a new Colony of Victoria. Days later, still in 1851 gold was discovered near Ballarat
Ballarat, Victoria
Ballarat is a city in the state of Victoria, Australia, approximately west-north-west of the state capital Melbourne situated on the lower plains of the Great Dividing Range and the Yarrowee River catchment. It is the largest inland centre and third most populous city in the state and the fifth...

, and subsequently at Bendigo
Bendigo, Victoria
Bendigo is a major regional city in the state of Victoria, Australia, located very close to the geographical centre of the state and approximately north west of the state capital Melbourne. It is the second largest inland city and fourth most populous city in the state. The estimated urban...

. Later discoveries occurred at many sites across Victoria. This triggered one of the largest gold rushes
Victorian gold rush
The Victorian gold rush was a period in the history of Victoria, Australia approximately between 1851 and the late 1860s. In 10 years the Australian population nearly tripled.- Overview :During this era Victoria dominated the world's gold output...

 the world has ever seen. The colony grew rapidly in both population and economic power. In ten years the population of Victoria increased sevenfold from 76,000 to 540,000. All sorts of gold records were produced including the "richest shallow alluvial goldfield in the world" and the largest gold nugget
Welcome Stranger
The "Welcome Stranger" is the name given to the largest alluvial gold nugget ever found, which had a calculated refined weight of 2,283 oz 6 dwts 9 gr...

. Victoria produced in the decade 1851–1860 20 million ounces of gold, one third of the world's output.


Immigrants arrived from all over the world to search for gold, especially from Ireland and China. Many Chinese miners worked in Victoria, and their legacy is particularly strong in Bendigo and its environs. Although there was some racism directed at them, there was not the level of anti-Chinese violence that was seen at the Lambing Flat riots
Lambing Flat riots
The Lambing Flat riots were a series of violent anti-Chinese demonstrations that took place in the Burrangong region, in New South Wales, Australia...

 in New South Wales. However, there was a riot at Buckland Valley
Buckland Riot
The Buckland Riot was an anti-Chinese race riot that occurred on 4 July 1857, in the goldfields of the Buckland Valley, Victoria, Australia. At the time approximately 2000 Chinese and 700 European migrants were living in the Buckland area.-Riot:...

 near Bright
Bright, Victoria
Bright is a small sized town, located in northeastern Victoria, Australia, 319 metres above sea level at the southeastern end of the Ovens Valley. At the 2006 census, Bright had a population of 2684. It is in the Alpine Shire local government area...

 in 1857. Conditions on the gold fields were cramped and unsanitary; an outbreak of typhoid at Buckland Valley in 1854 killed over 1,000 miners.

In 1854 at Ballarat there was an armed rebellion against the government of Victoria by miners protesting against mining taxes
Miner's Licence
The Miner's Licence was the colonial government's response to the Australian gold rushes and the need to provide infrastructure including policing. The Governor of New South Wales, Sir Charles Fitzroy invoked a sixteenth-century lawsuit, R v Earl of Northfartland which was decided in 1568, to...

 (the "Eureka Stockade
Eureka Stockade
The Eureka Rebellion of 1854 was an organised rebellion by gold miners which occurred at Eureka Lead in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia. The Battle of Eureka Stockade was fought on 3 December 1854 and named for the stockade structure erected by miners during the conflict...

"). This was crushed by British troops, but the discontents prompted colonial authorities to reform the administration (particularly reducing the hated mining licence fees) and extend the franchise. Within a short time, the Imperial Parliament granted Victoria responsible government with the passage of the Colony of Victoria Act 1855. Some of the leaders of the Eureka rebellion went on to became members of the Victorian Parliament.

The first foreign military action by the colony of Victoria was to send troops and a warship to New Zealand as part of the Māori Wars
New Zealand land wars
The New Zealand Wars, sometimes called the Land Wars and also once called the Māori Wars, were a series of armed conflicts that took place in New Zealand between 1845 and 1872...

. Troops from New South Wales had previously participated in the Crimean War
Crimean War
The Crimean War was a conflict fought between the Russian Empire and an alliance of the French Empire, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Sardinia. The war was part of a long-running contest between the major European powers for influence over territories of the declining...

.

In 1901 Victoria became a state in the Commonwealth of Australia. As a result of the gold rush, Melbourne had by then become the financial centre of Australia and New Zealand. Between 1901 and 1927, Melbourne was the capital of Australia while Canberra
Canberra
Canberra is the capital city of Australia. With a population of over 345,000, it is Australia's largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory , south-west of Sydney, and north-east of Melbourne...

 was under construction. It was also the largest city in Australia at the time.

On Saturday 7 February 2009 ("Black Saturday"), the state was affected by the 2009 Victorian bushfires, resulting in 173 deaths.

Government





Composition of the Parliament of Victoria
Political
Party
Legislative
Assembly
Legislative
Council
ALP
Australian Labor Party
The Australian Labor Party is an Australian political party. It has been the governing party of the Commonwealth of Australia since the 2007 federal election. Julia Gillard is the party's federal parliamentary leader and Prime Minister of Australia...

43 16
Liberal
Liberal Party of Australia
The Liberal Party of Australia is an Australian political party.Founded a year after the 1943 federal election to replace the United Australia Party, the centre-right Liberal Party typically competes with the centre-left Australian Labor Party for political office...

35 18
National
National Party of Australia
The National Party of Australia is an Australian political party.Traditionally representing graziers, farmers and rural voters generally, it began as the The Country Party, but adopted the name The National Country Party in 1975, changed to The National Party of Australia in 1982. The party is...

10 3
Greens
Australian Greens
The Australian Greens, commonly known as The Greens, is an Australian green political party.The party was formed in 1992; however, its origins can be traced to the early environmental movement in Australia and the formation of the United Tasmania Group , the first Green party in the world, which...

0 3
Source: Victorian Electoral Commission

Parliament


Victoria has a parliamentary form of government based on the Westminster System
Westminster System
The Westminster system is a democratic parliamentary system of government modelled after the politics of the United Kingdom. This term comes from the Palace of Westminster, the seat of the Parliament of the United Kingdom....

. Legislative power resides in the Parliament consisting of the Governor (the representative of the Queen), the executive (the Government), and two legislative chambers. The Parliament of Victoria
Parliament of Victoria
The Parliament of Victoria is the bicameral legislature of the Australian state of Victoria. It follows a Westminster-derived parliamentary system and consists of The Queen, represented by the Governor of Victoria; the Legislative Council ; and the Legislative Assembly...

 consists of the lower house Legislative Assembly
Victorian Legislative Assembly
The Victorian Legislative Assembly is the lower house of the Parliament of Victoria in Australia. Together with the Victorian Legislative Council, the upper house, it sits in Parliament House in the state capital, Melbourne.-History:...

, the upper house Legislative Council
Victorian Legislative Council
The Victorian Legislative Council, is the upper of the two houses of the Parliament of Victoria, Australia; the lower house being the Legislative Assembly. Both houses sit in Parliament House in Spring Street, Melbourne. The Legislative Council serves as a house of review, in a similar fashion to...

 and the Queen of Australia.

Eighty-eight members of the Legislative Assembly are elected to four-year terms from single-member electorates.

In November 2006, the Victorian Legislative Council elections were held under a new multi-proportional representation system. The State of Victoria was divided into eight electorates with each electorate represented by five representatives elected by Single Transferable Vote
Single transferable vote
The single transferable vote is a voting system designed to achieve proportional representation through preferential voting. Under STV, an elector's vote is initially allocated to his or her most preferred candidate, and then, after candidates have been either elected or eliminated, any surplus or...

 proportional representation
Proportional representation
Proportional representation is a concept in voting systems used to elect an assembly or council. PR means that the number of seats won by a party or group of candidates is proportionate to the number of votes received. For example, under a PR voting system if 30% of voters support a particular...

. The total number of upper house members was reduced from 44 to 40 and their term of office is now the same as the lower house members—four years. Elections for the Victorian Parliament are now fixed and occur in November every four years. Prior to the 2006 election, the Legislative Council consisted of 44 members elected to eight-year terms from 22 two-member electorates.

Premier and cabinet


The Premier of Victoria is the leader of the political party or coalition with the most seats in the Legislative Assembly. The Premier is the public face of government and, with cabinet, sets the legislative and political agenda. Cabinet consists of representatives elected to either house of parliament. It is responsible for managing areas of government that are not exclusively the Commonwealth's, by the Australian Constitution, such as education, health and law enforcement. The current Premier of Victoria is Ted Baillieu
Ted Baillieu
Edward Norman "Ted" Baillieu MLA is an Australian politician. He is currently the Premier of Victoria and the member for the Legislative Assembly seat of Hawthorn...

.

Governor



Executive authority is vested in the Governor of Victoria who represents and is appointed by Queen Elizabeth II. The post is usually filled by a retired prominent Victorian. The governor acts on the advice of the premier and cabinet. The current Governor of Victoria is Alex Chernov
Alex Chernov
Alex Chernov AO QC is an Australian jurist and the current Governor of Victoria.- Early life :Chernov was born in Lithuania to Russian parents, and migrated with his family to Salzburg, Austria where he commenced his schooling. In 1949 his family migrated to Australia and he completed his...

.

Constitution


Victoria has a written constitution. Enacted in 1975, but based on the 1855 colonial constitution, it establishes the parliament as the state's law-making body for matters coming under state responsibility. The Victorian Constitution can be amended by the parliament of Victoria. Under new provisions to be enacted, changes to the Victorian Constitution will be subjected to a plebiscite of votes, voting in a referendum.

Politics


Premier Ted Baillieu
Ted Baillieu
Edward Norman "Ted" Baillieu MLA is an Australian politician. He is currently the Premier of Victoria and the member for the Legislative Assembly seat of Hawthorn...

 leads a Liberal/National Coalition
Coalition (Australia)
The Coalition in Australian politics refers to a group of centre-right parties that has existed in the form of a coalition agreement since 1922...

 that won the November 2010 Victorian state election
Victorian state election, 2010
The 2010 Victorian state election was held on 27 November. The incumbent centre-left Australian Labor Party government, led by John Brumby, was defeated by the centre-right Liberal/National Coalition opposition, led by Ted Baillieu....

.

The centre-left Australian Labor Party
Australian Labor Party
The Australian Labor Party is an Australian political party. It has been the governing party of the Commonwealth of Australia since the 2007 federal election. Julia Gillard is the party's federal parliamentary leader and Prime Minister of Australia...

 (ALP), the centre-right Liberal Party of Australia
Liberal Party of Australia
The Liberal Party of Australia is an Australian political party.Founded a year after the 1943 federal election to replace the United Australia Party, the centre-right Liberal Party typically competes with the centre-left Australian Labor Party for political office...

 and the rural-based National Party of Australia
National Party of Australia
The National Party of Australia is an Australian political party.Traditionally representing graziers, farmers and rural voters generally, it began as the The Country Party, but adopted the name The National Country Party in 1975, changed to The National Party of Australia in 1982. The party is...

 are Victoria's major political parties. Traditionally, Labor is strongest in Melbourne's inner, working class and western and northern suburbs, Morwell, Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong. The Liberals' main support lies in Melbourne's more affluent eastern and outer suburbs, and some rural and regional centres. The Nationals are strongest in Victoria's North Western and Eastern rural regional areas.

Federal government


Victorian voters elect 49 representatives to the Parliament of Australia
Parliament of Australia
The Parliament of Australia, also known as the Commonwealth Parliament or Federal Parliament, is the legislative branch of the government of Australia. It is bicameral, largely modelled in the Westminster tradition, but with some influences from the United States Congress...

, including 37 members of the House of Representatives
Australian House of Representatives
The House of Representatives is one of the two houses of the Parliament of Australia; it is the lower house; the upper house is the Senate. Members of Parliament serve for terms of approximately three years....

 and 12 members of the Senate
Australian Senate
The Senate is the upper house of the bicameral Parliament of Australia, the lower house being the House of Representatives. Senators are popularly elected under a system of proportional representation. Senators are elected for a term that is usually six years; after a double dissolution, however,...

. Since 2010, the ALP has held 22 Victorian house seats, the Liberals 12, the Nationals two and the Greens one. As of 1 July 2008, the Liberals have held six senate seats, the ALP five and the Family First Party
Family First Party
The Family First Party is a socially conservative minor political party in Australia. It has two members in the South Australian Legislative Council...

 one.

Local government



Victoria is incorporated into 79 municipalities for the purposes of local government, including 39 shires, 32 cities, seven rural cities and one borough. Shire and city councils are responsible for functions delegated by the Victorian parliament, such as city planning, road infrastructure and waste management. Council revenue comes mostly from property taxes and government grants.
Source: Victorian Parliamentary Library, Department of Victorian Communities, Australian Electoral Commission

Demographics


The 2006 Australian census reported that Victoria had 4,932,422 people resident at the time of the census, an increase of 6.2% on the 1996 figure. The Australian Bureau of Statistics
Australian Bureau of Statistics
The Australian Bureau of Statistics is Australia's national statistical agency. It was created as the Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics on 8 December 1905, when the Census and Statistics Act 1905 was given Royal assent. It had its beginnings in section 51 of the Constitution of Australia...

 estimates that in June 2010 the state's population reached 5,547,500, an increase of 1.8% from the previous year and may well reach 7.2 million by 2050.

Victoria's founding Anglo-Celtic
Anglo-Celtic
Anglo-Celtic is a term used to describe people of British and Irish descent. The term today is mainly used outside of Britain and Ireland, particularly in Australia but also in Canada, New Zealand and the United States, where a significant diaspora is located....

 population has been supplemented by successive waves of migrants
Immigration to Australia
Immigration to Australia is estimated to have begun around 51,000 years ago when the ancestors of Australian Aborigines arrived on the continent via the islands of the Malay Archipelago and New Guinea. Europeans first landed in the 17th and 18th Centuries, but colonisation only started in 1788. The...

 from southern and eastern Europe, Southeast Asia and, most recently, the Horn of Africa
Horn of Africa
The Horn of Africa is a peninsula in East Africa that juts hundreds of kilometers into the Arabian Sea and lies along the southern side of the Gulf of Aden. It is the easternmost projection of the African continent...

 and the Middle East. Victoria's population is ageing in proportion with the average of the remainder of the Australian population.

About 72% of Victorians are Australian-born. This figure falls to around 66% in Melbourne but rises to higher than 95% in some rural areas in the north west of the state. Around two-thirds of Victorians claim Australian, Scottish, English or Irish ancestry. Less than 1% of Victorians identify themselves as Aboriginal
Australian Aborigines
Australian Aborigines , also called Aboriginal Australians, from the latin ab originem , are people who are indigenous to most of the Australian continentthat is, to mainland Australia and the island of Tasmania...

. The largest groups of people born outside Australia came from the British Isles, China, Italy, Vietnam
Vietnamese Australian
A Vietnamese Australian is an Australian either born in Vietnam or is an Australian descendant of the former. Communities of Overseas Vietnamese are referred to as Việt Kiều or người Việt hải ngoại.-History in Australia:...

, Greece
Greek Australian
Greeks are the seventh-largest ethnic group in Australia, after those declaring their ancestry simply as "Australian". In the 2006 census, 365,147 persons declared having Greek ancestry, either alone or in conjunction with another ethnicity....

 and New Zealand.

More than 70% of Victorians live in Melbourne, located in the state's south. The greater Melbourne metropolitan area is home to an estimated 3.9 million people. Leading urban centres include Geelong
Geelong, Victoria
Geelong is a port city located on Corio Bay and the Barwon River, in the state of Victoria, Australia, south-west of the state capital; Melbourne. It is the second most populated city in Victoria and the fifth most populated non-capital city in Australia...

, Ballarat
Ballarat, Victoria
Ballarat is a city in the state of Victoria, Australia, approximately west-north-west of the state capital Melbourne situated on the lower plains of the Great Dividing Range and the Yarrowee River catchment. It is the largest inland centre and third most populous city in the state and the fifth...

, Bendigo
Bendigo, Victoria
Bendigo is a major regional city in the state of Victoria, Australia, located very close to the geographical centre of the state and approximately north west of the state capital Melbourne. It is the second largest inland city and fourth most populous city in the state. The estimated urban...

, Shepparton
Shepparton, Victoria
Shepparton is a city located on the floodplain of the Goulburn River in the north east of Victoria, Australia approximately north-east of Melbourne. It is the fifth largest city in Victoria, Australia. The estimated population of Shepparton's statistical area is 48,926.It began as a sheep station...

, Mildura
Mildura, Victoria
Mildura is a regional city in northwestern Victoria, Australia and seat of the Rural City of Mildura local government area. It is located in the Sunraysia region, and is on the banks of the Murray River. The current population is estimated at just over 30,000.Mildura is a major agricultural centre...

, Warrnambool
Warrnambool, Victoria
-Cityscape:The original City of Warrnambool was a 4x8 grid, with boundaries of Lava Street , Japan Street , Merri Street and Henna Street . In the nineteenth century, it was intended that Fairy Street – with its proximity to the Warrnambool Railway Station – would be the main street of...

, Wodonga and the Latrobe Valley
Latrobe Valley
The Latrobe Valley is an inland geographical region and urban area of Gippsland in the state of Victoria, Australia. It is east of the City Of Melbourne and nestled between the Strzelecki Ranges to the south and the Great Dividing Range to the north – with the highest peak to the north of the...

.
Population growth
estimates for Victoria
2007 5,087,000
2011 5,500,000
2016 6,000,000
2021 6,400,000
2026 6,800,000
2031 7,300,000
Source: Dept of Planning and
Community Development


Victoria is Australia's most urbanised state: nearly 90% of residents living in cities and towns. State Government efforts to decentralise population have included an official campaign run since 2003 to encourage Victorians to settle in regional areas, however Melbourne continues to rapidly outpace these areas in terms of population growth.

Age structure and fertility


The government predicts that nearly a quarter of Victorians will be aged over 60 by 2021. The 2006 census reveals that Australian average age has crept upward from 35 to 37 since 2001, which reflects the population growth
Population growth
Population growth is the change in a population over time, and can be quantified as the change in the number of individuals of any species in a population using "per unit time" for measurement....

 peak of 1969–72.
In 2007, Victoria recorded a TFR
Total Fertility Rate
The total fertility rate of a population is the average number of children that would be born to a woman over her lifetime if she were to experience the exact current age-specific fertility rates through her lifetime, and she...

 of 1.87, the highest after 1978.

Crime


The state of Victoria is divided into four geographical regions; North-West Metropolitan Region, Southern Metropolitan Region, Eastern Region, Western Region. In 2010-2011 there were 152 homicides within the state of Victoria.

Religion


About 60.5% of Victorians describe themselves as Christian. Roman Catholics form the single largest religious group in the state with 27.5% of Victorian population, followed by Anglicans and members of the Uniting Church. Catholics and Protestants (including Anglicans) in Victoria each form around 30% of the population. Buddhism, the state's largest non-Christian religion, is also the fastest growing with 132,634. Victoria is also home of 109,370 Muslims
Islam in Australia
Islam in Australia is a small minority religious grouping, but fourth largest after all forms of Christianity , irreligion and Buddhism , excluding 11.2% who failed to answer at the last census...

 and 41,105 Jews. Around 20% of Victorians claim no religion, and even amongst those who declare a religious affiliation, church attendance is low.

In 2008, the levels of couples choosing to marry in a church had dropped to 36%; the other 64% chose to register their marriage with a civil celebrant.

Primary and secondary


Victoria's state school system dates back to 1872, when the colonial government legislated to make schooling both free and compulsory. The state's public secondary school system began in 1905. Before then, only private secondary schooling was available. Today, a Victorian school education consists of seven years of primary schooling (including one preparatory year) and six years of secondary schooling.

The final years of secondary school are optional for children aged over 17. Victorian children generally begin school at age five or six. On completing secondary school, students earn the Victorian Certificate of Education. Students who successfully complete their secondary education also receive a tertiary entrance ranking, or ATAR score, to determine university admittance.

Victorian schools are either publicly or privately funded. Public schools, also known as state or government schools, are funded and run directly by the Victoria Department of Education http://www.education.vic.gov.au/. Students do not pay tuition fees, but some extra costs are levied. Private fee-paying schools include parish schools run by the Roman Catholic Church and independent schools similar to English public schools. Independent schools are usually affiliated with Protestant churches. Victoria also has several private Jewish and Islamic primary and secondary schools. Private schools also receive some public funding. All schools must comply with government-set curriculum standards. In addition, Victoria has four government selective school
Selective school
A selective school is a school that admits students on the basis of some sort of selection criteria, usually academic. The term may have different connotations in different systems....

s, Melbourne High School
Melbourne High School
Melbourne High School is a selective entry state school for boys in years 9 to 12 located in the Melbourne suburb of South Yarra. Being a selective school, it is known mainly for its strong academic reputation...

 for boys, MacRobertson Girls' High School for girls, the coeducational schools John Monash Science School
John Monash Science School
John Monash Science School is a state government coeducational specialist selective school in Victoria, Australia. It is the state's first specialist science secondary school....

, Nossal High School
Nossal High School
Nossal High School is a state government selective school in Victoria, Australia. Located in the Berwick campus of Monash University and adjacent to Chisholm Institute and Berwick TEC , the school opened in 2010 with 200 students...

 and Suzanne Cory High School
Suzanne Cory High School
Suzanne Cory High School is a Years 9-12 selective entry co-educational high school in Victoria, Australia. Located in Hoppers Lane, Werribee, the school commenced in 2011 with 200 Year 9 students....

, and The Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School. Students at these schools are exclusively admitted on the basis of a selective entry test.

As of August 2010, Victoria had 1,548 public schools, 489 Catholic schools and 214 independent schools. Just under 540,800 students were enrolled in public schools, and just over 311,800 in private schools. Over 61 per cent of private students attend Catholic schools. More than 462,000 students were enrolled in primary schools and more than 390,000 in secondary schools. Retention rates for the final two years of secondary school were 77 per cent for public school students and 90 per cent for private school students. Victoria has about 63,519 full-time teachers.

Tertiary education



Victoria has nine universities. The first to offer degrees, the University of Melbourne
University of Melbourne
The University of Melbourne is a public university located in Melbourne, Victoria. Founded in 1853, it is the second oldest university in Australia and the oldest in Victoria...

, enrolled its first student in 1855. The largest, Monash University
Monash University
Monash University is a public university based in Melbourne, Victoria. It was founded in 1958 and is the second oldest university in the state. Monash is a member of Australia's Group of Eight and the ASAIHL....

, has an enrolment of nearly 56,000 students—more than any other Australian university. Both the University of Melbourne and Monash University are purportedly ranked highly among the world's best universities requiring a fairly high entry score, passing of mature age entrance exams or direct payment for student admission into their courses.

The number of students enrolled in Victorian universities was 241,755 at 2004, an increase of 2% on the previous year. International students made up 30% of enrolments and account for the highest percentage of pre-paid university tuition fees. The largest number of enrolments were recorded in the fields of business, administration and economics, with nearly a third of all students, followed by arts, humanities, and social science, with 20% of enrolments.

Victoria has 18 government-run institutions of “technical and further education” (TAFE). The first vocational institution in the state was the Melbourne Mechanics' Institute (established in 1839), which is now the Melbourne Athenaeum
Athenaeum, Melbourne
The Athenaeum or Melbourne Athenaeum is one of the oldest public institutions in Victoria, Australia, founded in 1839. The first President was Captain William Lonsdale, the first Patron was the Superintendent of Port Philip, Charles La Trobe and the first books were donated by Vice-President Henry...

. More than 1,000 adult education organisations are registered to provide recognised TAFE programs. In 2004, there were about 480,700 students enrolled in vocational education programs in the state.
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Department of Education and Training (Victoria), Department of Education, Science and Training (Commonwealth), National Centre for Vocational Education Research


Libraries


The State Library of Victoria
State Library of Victoria
The State Library of Victoria is the central library of the state of Victoria, Australia, located in Melbourne. It is on the block bounded by Swanston, La Trobe, Russell, and Little Lonsdale streets, in the northern centre of the central business district...

 is the State's research and reference library. It is responsible for collecting and preserving Victoria's documentary heritage and making it available through a range of services and programs. Material in the collection includes books, newspapers, magazines, journals, manuscripts, maps, pictures, objects, sound and video recordings and databases.

In addition, local governments maintain local lending libraries, typically with multiple branches in their respective municipal areas.

Economy



Victorian production and
workers by economic activities
Economic
sector
GSP
produced
Number of
workers
Percentage
of workers
Finance, insurance
and property
30.5% 319,109 15.3%
Community, social
and personal services
16.6% 562,783 27.4%
Manufacturing 15.4% 318,218 15.3%
Wholesale and
retail trade
12.1% 423,328 20.3%
Transport, utilities
and communications
10.6% 133,752 6.4%
Construction 6.2% 136,454 6.6%
Government 4% 62,253 3%
Agriculture 3.3% 72,639 3.5%
Mining 1.3% 4,472 0.2%
Other 49,208 2%
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics. Figures are for 2004–2005


The state of Victoria is the second largest economy in Australia after New South Wales, accounting for a quarter of the nation's gross domestic product. The total gross state product
Gross state product
Gross state product is a measurement of the economic output of a state or province...

 (GSP) at current prices for Victoria was at just over A$293 billion, with a GSP per capita of A$52,872. The economy grew by 2.0 per cent in 2010, less than the Australian average of 2.3 per cent.

Finance, insurance and property services form Victoria's largest income producing sector, while the community, social and personal services sector is the state's biggest employer. Despite the shift towards service industries, the troubled manufacturing sector remains Victoria's single largest employer and income producer. As a result of job losses in declining sectors such as manufacturing, Victoria has the highest unemployment rate in Australia as of September 2009.

Agriculture



During 2003–04, the gross value of Victorian agricultural production increased by 17% to $8.7 billion. This represented 24% of national agricultural production total gross value. As of 2004, an estimated 32,463 farms occupied around 136,000 square kilometres (52,500 sq mi) of Victorian land. This comprises more than 60% of the state's total land surface. Victorian farms range from small horticultural outfits to large-scale livestock and grain productions. A quarter of farmland is used to grow consumable crops.

More than 26,000 square kilometres (10,000 sq mi) of Victorian farmland are sown for grain, mostly in the state's west. More than 50% of this area is sown for wheat, 33% for barley and 7% for oats. A further 6,000 square kilometres (2,300 sq mi) is sown for hay. In 2003–04, Victorian farmers produced more than 3 million tonnes of wheat and 2 million tonnes of barley. Victorian farms produce nearly 90% of Australian pears and third of apples. It is also a leader in stone fruit production. The main vegetable crops include asparagus, broccoli, carrots, potatoes and tomatoes. Last year, 121,200 tonnes of pears and 270,000 tonnes of tomatoes were produced.

More than 14 million sheep and 5 million lambs graze over 10% of Victorian farms, mostly in the state's north and west. In 2004, nearly 10 million lambs and sheep were slaughtered for local consumption and export. Victoria also exports live sheep to the Middle East for meat and to the rest of the world for breeding. More than 108,000 tonnes of wool clip was also produced—one-fifth of the Australian total.

Victoria is the centre of dairy farming in Australia. It is home to 60% of Australia's 3 million dairy cattle and produces nearly two-thirds of the nation's milk, almost 6.4 million litres. The state also has 2.4 million beef cattle, with more than 2.2 million cattle and calves slaughtered each year. In 2003–04, Victorian commercial fishing crews and aquaculture industry produced 11,634 tonnes of seafood valued at nearly A$109 million. Blacklipped abalone
Abalone
Abalone , from aulón, are small to very large-sized edible sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs in the family Haliotidae and the genus Haliotis...

 is the mainstay of the catch, bringing in A$46 million, followed by southern rock lobster
Spiny lobster
Spiny lobsters, also known as langouste or rock lobsters, are a family of about 45 species of achelate crustaceans, in the Decapoda Reptantia...

 worth A$13.7 million. Most abalone and rock lobster is exported to Asia.

Manufacturing


Machinery and equipment manufacturing is the state's most valuable manufacturing activity, followed by food and beverage manufacturing and petroleum, coal and chemical manufacturing. More than 15% Victorian workers are employed in manufacturing industries. Victoria has 318,000 manufacturing workers. The state is marginally behind New South Wales in the value of manufacturing output.

Major industrial plants belong to the car manufacturers Ford, Toyota
Toyota Australia
Toyota Motor Corporation Australia, or Toyota Australia, is a subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation, which is based in Japan. TMCA markets Toyota products and manages motorsport, advertising and business operations for Toyota Motor Corporation in Australia...

 and Holden
Holden
GM Holden Ltd is an automaker that operates in Australia, based in Port Melbourne, Victoria. The company was founded in 1856 as a saddlery manufacturer. In 1908 it moved into the automotive field, before becoming a subsidiary of the U.S.-based General Motors in 1931...

; Alcoa
Alcoa World Alumina and Chemicals
Alcoa World Alumina and Chemicals is a joint venture between Alumina Limited and Alcoa and is abbreviated to AWAC. AWAC's business is the mining of bauxite, the extraction of alumina and the smelting of aluminium. It has about 25% of the global alumina market...

's Portland
Portland aluminium smelter
The Portland aluminium smelter is located atPortland, Victoria, Australia.The smelter has a production capacity of 345,000 tonnes of aluminium per yearThe smelter is a joint venture owned by...

 and Point Henry
Point Henry smelter
The Point Henry aluminium smelter is located near Geelong, Victoria in the suburb of Moolap. The smelter has a production capacity of 185,000 tonnes of aluminium a year. It is operated by Alcoa World Alumina and Chemicals Australia, a joint venture between Alcoa and Alumina Limited...

 aluminium smelters; oil refineries at Geelong
Geelong, Victoria
Geelong is a port city located on Corio Bay and the Barwon River, in the state of Victoria, Australia, south-west of the state capital; Melbourne. It is the second most populated city in Victoria and the fifth most populated non-capital city in Australia...

 and Altona
Altona, Victoria
Altona is a suburb in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 13 km south-west from Melbourne's central business district. Its Local Government Area is the City of Hobsons Bay. At the 2006 Census, Altona had a population of 9685....

; and a major petrochemical facility at Laverton
Laverton, Victoria
Laverton is a suburb in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 17 km south-west from Melbourne's central business district. Its Local Government Area are the Cities of Hobsons Bay and Wyndham. At the 2006 Census, Laverton had a population of 4508.-History:...

.

Victoria also plays an important role in providing goods for the defence industry
Defence industry of Victoria
This article provides information on the industrial sector in Victoria that supplies goods and services to defence and military customers and associated supply chain.- Defence industry activity in Victoria :...

. Melbourne is the centre of manufacturing in Victoria, followed by Geelong. Energy production has aided industrial growth in the Latrobe Valley
Latrobe Valley
The Latrobe Valley is an inland geographical region and urban area of Gippsland in the state of Victoria, Australia. It is east of the City Of Melbourne and nestled between the Strzelecki Ranges to the south and the Great Dividing Range to the north – with the highest peak to the north of the...

.

Mining




Mining in Victoria contributes around A$3 billion to the gross state product (~1%) but employs less than 1% of workers. The Victorian mining industry is concentrated on energy producing minerals, with brown coal, petroleum and gas
Natural gas
Natural gas is a naturally occurring gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, typically with 0–20% higher hydrocarbons . It is found associated with other hydrocarbon fuel, in coal beds, as methane clathrates, and is an important fuel source and a major feedstock for fertilizers.Most natural...

 accounting for nearly 90% of local production. The oil and gas industries are centred off the coast of Gippsland
Gippsland
Gippsland is a large rural region in Victoria, Australia. It begins immediately east of the suburbs of Melbourne and stretches to the New South Wales border, lying between the Great Dividing Range to the north and Bass Strait to the south...

 in the state's east, while brown coal mining and power generation is based in the Latrobe Valley
Latrobe Valley
The Latrobe Valley is an inland geographical region and urban area of Gippsland in the state of Victoria, Australia. It is east of the City Of Melbourne and nestled between the Strzelecki Ranges to the south and the Great Dividing Range to the north – with the highest peak to the north of the...

.

In the 2005/2006 fiscal year, the average gas production was over 700 Mcuft per day (M cuft/d) and represented 18% of the total national gas sales, with demand growing at 2% per year.

In 1985, oil production from the offshore Gippsland Basin peaked to an annual average of 450000 barrels (71,544.3 m³) per day. In 2005–2006, the average daily oil production declined to 83000 bbl (13,195.9 m³)/d, but despite the decline Victoria still produces almost 19.5% of crude oil in Australia.

Brown coal is Victoria's leading mineral, with 66 million tonnes mined each year for electricity generation in the Latrobe Valley, Gippsland. The region is home to the world's largest known reserves of brown coal.

Despite being the historic centre of Australia's gold rush, Victoria today contributes a mere 1% of national gold production. Victoria also produces limited amounts of gypsum
Gypsum
Gypsum is a very soft sulfate mineral composed of calcium sulfate dihydrate, with the chemical formula CaSO4·2H2O. It is found in alabaster, a decorative stone used in Ancient Egypt. It is the second softest mineral on the Mohs Hardness Scale...

 and kaolin.

Service industry


The service industries sector is the fastest growing component of the Victorian economy. It includes the wide range of activities generally classified as community, social and personal services; finances, insurance and property services, government services, transportation and communication, and wholesale and retail trade. Most service industries are located in Melbourne and the state's larger regional centres.

As of 2004–05, service industries employed nearly three-quarters of Victorian workers and generated three-quarters of the state's GSP. Finance, insurance and property services, as a group, provide a larger share of GSP than any other economic activity in Victoria. More than a quarter of Victorian workers are employed by the community, social and personal services sector.

Geology and geography




Victoria's northern border is the southern bank of the Murray River
Murray River
The Murray River is Australia's longest river. At in length, the Murray rises in the Australian Alps, draining the western side of Australia's highest mountains and, for most of its length, meanders across Australia's inland plains, forming the border between New South Wales and Victoria as it...

. It also rests at the southern end of the Great Dividing Range
Great Dividing Range
The Great Dividing Range, or the Eastern Highlands, is Australia's most substantial mountain range and the third longest in the world. The range stretches more than 3,500 km from Dauan Island off the northeastern tip of Queensland, running the entire length of the eastern coastline through...

, which stretches along the east coast and terminates west of Ballarat. It is bordered by South Australia to the west and shares Australian's shortest land border with Tasmania
Tasmania
Tasmania is an Australian island and state. It is south of the continent, separated by Bass Strait. The state includes the island of Tasmania—the 26th largest island in the world—and the surrounding islands. The state has a population of 507,626 , of whom almost half reside in the greater Hobart...

. The official border between Victoria and Tasmania is at 39°12' S, which passes through Boundary Islet
Boundary Islet
Boundary Islet is an islet about 60,000 square metres in size in the Hogan Group of islands and islets at latitude 39°12' S, south of the Wilsons Promontory, the southernmost part of both mainland Australia and mainland Victoria...

 in the Bass Strait
Bass Strait
Bass Strait is a sea strait separating Tasmania from the south of the Australian mainland, specifically the state of Victoria.-Extent:The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Bass Strait as follows:...

 for 85 metres. Victoria contains many topographically, geologically and climatically diverse areas, ranging from the wet, temperate
Temperate
In geography, temperate or tepid latitudes of the globe lie between the tropics and the polar circles. The changes in these regions between summer and winter are generally relatively moderate, rather than extreme hot or cold...

 climate of Gippsland
Gippsland
Gippsland is a large rural region in Victoria, Australia. It begins immediately east of the suburbs of Melbourne and stretches to the New South Wales border, lying between the Great Dividing Range to the north and Bass Strait to the south...

 in the southeast to the snow-covered Victorian alpine areas which rise to almost 2,000 metres (6,500 ft), with Mount Bogong
Mount Bogong
Mount Bogong , located in the Alpine National Park, is the highest mountain in Victoria, Australia. The Big River separates the massif of the mountain from the Bogong High Plains to the south. "Bogong" in the local Aboriginal language means bigfella...

 the highest peak at 1,986 m; (6,516 ft). There are extensive semi-arid plains to the west and northwest.

There is an extensive series of river systems in Victoria. Most notable is the Murray River
Murray River
The Murray River is Australia's longest river. At in length, the Murray rises in the Australian Alps, draining the western side of Australia's highest mountains and, for most of its length, meanders across Australia's inland plains, forming the border between New South Wales and Victoria as it...

 system. Other rivers include: Ovens River
Ovens River
The Ovens River is a river in the Australian state of Victoria.Hamilton Hume and William Hovell explored the area in 1824, naming the Ovens River...

, Goulburn River, Patterson River
Patterson River
The Patterson River is a partly man-made waterway located approximately 35km south-east of Melbourne, Australia in Patterson Lakes, Carrum and Bonbeach....

, King River, Campaspe River
Campaspe River
The Campaspe River is a river in Victoria, Australia. It was named by Major Mitchell in 1836 for Campaspe, a mistress of Alexander the Great.The river was known as yalooka by the local aboriginal people of the Rochester area.-Course:...

, Loddon River
Loddon River
The Loddon River is a 392-km long tributary of the Murray River that flows through central and northern Victoria, Australia. The river rises near Trentham and flows by Glenlyon. It then flows generally northward through Guildford and Newstead, 40 km west of Bendigo through the Cairn Curran...

, Wimmera River
Wimmera River
The Wimmera River is a river in Western Victoria, Australia. It begins in the Pyrenees, and flows into Lake Hindmarsh and Lake Albacutya, although in many years flows do not reach these terminal lakes and the river contracts to a series of pools of varying sizes...

, Elgin River, Barwon River
Barwon River (Victoria)
The Barwon River rises in the Otway Ranges of Victoria, Australia, runs through Winchelsea and the city of Geelong, where it is joined by the Moorabool River, and enters the sea at Barwon Heads after passing through Lake Connewarre on the Bellarine Peninsula...

, Thomson River, Snowy River
Snowy River
The Snowy River is a major river in south-eastern Australia. It originates on the slopes of Mount Kosciuszko, Australia's highest mainland peak, draining the eastern slopes of the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales, before flowing through the Snowy River National Park in Victoria and emptying into...

, Latrobe River
Latrobe River
The La Trobe River is a river in Gippsland, Victoria, Australia. It begins in the area between Powelltown and Noojee where it shares a watershed with the Little Yarra River, a tributary of the Yarra River, and has a number of tributaries joining it from the southern slopes of the Baw Baw plateau,...

, Yarra River
Yarra River
The Yarra River, originally Birrarung, is a river in east-central Victoria, Australia. The lower stretches of the river is where the city of Melbourne was established in 1835 and today Greater Melbourne dominates and influences the landscape of its lower reaches...

, Maribyrnong River
Maribyrnong river
The Maribyrnong River rises about 50 km north of Melbourne, Victoria , near Mount Macedon. It flows generally southward and combines with the Yarra River to flow into Port Phillip....

, Mitta River, Hopkins River, Merri River and Kiewa River
Kiewa River
The Kiewa River is a major tributary of the Murray River in Australia.The river's headwaters include Victoria's highest mountain, Mount Bogong, and wind their way north-west about 100 kilometres, gradually slowing before joining the Murray east of Albury....

.

The state symbols include the Pink Heath
Pink heath
Epacris impressa, also known as Common Heath, is a shrub that is native to the south-east of Australia. The pink-flowered form, often referred to as Pink Heath, is the floral emblem of the state of Victoria.-Description:...

 (state flower), Leadbeater's Possum
Leadbeater's Possum
Leadbeater's Possum is an endangered possum restricted to small pockets of remaining old growth mountain ash forests in the central highlands of Victoria north-east of Melbourne...

 (state animal) and the Helmeted Honeyeater
Helmeted Honeyeater
The Helmeted Honeyeater is a passerine bird in the Honeyeater family. It is a distinctive and critically endangered subspecies, formerly considered a full species, of the Yellow-tufted Honeyeater, that exists in the wild only as a tiny relict population in the Australian state of Victoria, in the...

 (state bird).

The state's capital, Melbourne, contains approximately 70% of the state's population and dominates its economy, media, and culture. For other cities and towns, see List of localities (Victoria) and Local Government Areas of Victoria.

Transport



Victoria has the highest population density in any state in Australia, with population centres spread out over most of the state; only the far northwest and the Victorian Alps lack permanent settlement.

The Victorian road network services the population centres, with highways generally radiating from Melbourne and other major cities and rural centres with secondary roads interconnecting the highways to each other. Many of the highways are built to freeway standard ("M" freeways), while most are generally sealed and of reasonable quality.
Rail transport in Victoria
Rail transport in Victoria
Rail transport in Victoria, Australia, is provided by a number of railway operators who operate over the government-owned railway lines. Victorian lines use broad gauge, with the exception of a number of standard gauge freight and interstate lines, a few experimental narrow gauge lines, and...

 is provided by several private and public railway operators who operate over government-owned lines. Major operators include: Metro Trains Melbourne
Metro Trains Melbourne
Metro Trains Melbourne is the current franchise operator of the suburban railway network of Melbourne, Australia. Metro Trains Melbourne is a joint venture led by Hong Kong based MTR Corporation together with John Holland Group and United Group Rail .Metro Trains Melbourne operates a fleet of 381...

 which runs an extensive, electrified, passenger system throughout Melbourne and suburbs; V/Line
V/Line
V/Line is a not for profit regional passenger train and coach service in Victoria, Australia. It was created after the split-up of VicRail in 1983. V/Line is owned by the V/Line Corporation which is a Victorian State Government statutory authority...

 which is now owned by the Victorian Government, operates a concentrated service to major regional centres, as well as long distance services on other lines; Pacific National
Pacific National
Pacific National is one of Australia's largest private rail freight businesses. Originally a joint venture between Patrick Corporation and Toll Holdings; it is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Asciano Limited following the restructure of Toll Holdings....

, CFCLA, El Zorro
El Zorro (railway)
El Zorro is a railway operator based in Victoria, Australia. It is a private company that was founded in 1999, based in Spotswood, and named by director Ray Evans who has a taste for things Spanish. . The company has three shareholders: director Ray Evans, business manager Geoff Tighe, and Lisa...

 which operate freight services; Great Southern Railway
Great Southern Railway (Australia)
Great Southern Railway , owned by Serco Asia Pacific, is a tourism business and rail transport operator in Australia.GSR operates interstate passenger trains aimed at the tourist market:* The Indian Pacific...

 which operates The Overland Melbourne—Adelaide; and CountryLink
CountryLink
CountryLink is the operator of passenger rail services in country New South Wales, Australia and into Queensland and Victoria. It is an operating brand of the Rail Corporation New South Wales, a government-owned entity...

 which operates XPTs Melbourne—Sydney.

There are also several smaller freight operators and numerous tourist railways operating over lines which were once parts of a state-owned system. Victorian lines mainly use the 5 in 3 in (1,600.2 mm) broad gauge
Victorian broad gauge
Rail gauge in Australia displays significant variation, which has been an ongoing problem for transportation on the Australian continent, for over a hundred years.-Track gauges and route km:The most used gauges are Main gauges:...

. However, the interstate trunk routes, as well as a number of branch lines in the west of the state have been converted to standard gauge
Standard gauge
The standard gauge is a widely-used track gauge . Approximately 60% of the world's existing railway lines are built to this gauge...

. Two tourist railways operate over 2 in 6 in (762 mm) narrow gauge
Narrow gauge lines of the Victorian Railways
The former Victorian Railways, the state railway authority in Victoria, Australia built a number of experimental narrow gauge railway lines around the beginning of the 20th century. Although all were closed by the early 1960s, parts of two have been reopened as heritage railways.- Background :A...

 lines, which are the remnants of five formerly government-owned lines which were built in mountainous areas.

Melbourne has the world's largest tram network
Trams in Melbourne
The Melbourne tramway network is a major form of public transport in Melbourne, the capital city of the state of Victoria, Australia. , the network consisted of of track, 487 trams, 28 routes, and 1,773 tram stops. It was therefore the largest urban tramway network in the world, ahead of the...

, currently operated by Yarra Trams
Yarra Trams
Yarra Trams is the trading name of the Melbourne tram network, which is fully owned and registered by the Victorian State Government. The current franchise is operated by a consortium named KDR Melbourne which consists of a partnership between French company Keolis and Australian company Downer EDI...

. As well as being a popular form of public transport, over the last few decades trams have become one of Melbourne's major tourist attractions. There are also tourist trams operating over portions of the former Ballarat and Bendigo systems. There are also tramway museums at Bylands
Tramway Museum Society Of Victoria
The Tramway Museum Society of Victoria was founded in 1963 in Victoria, Australia. Its aim is the preservation, restoration and operation of trams...

 and Haddon.

Melbourne Airport
Melbourne Airport
Melbourne Airport , also known as Tullamarine Airport, is the primary airport serving the city of Melbourne and the second busiest in Australia. It was opened in 1970 to replace the nearby Essendon Airport. Melbourne Airport is the sole international airport of the four airports serving the...

 is the major domestic and international gateway for the state. Avalon Airport
Avalon Airport
Avalon Airport is the second busiest of the four airports serving Melbourne and is located in Avalon, Victoria, Australia, which is north-east of the city of Geelong and to the south-west of the state's capital city of Melbourne....

 is the state's second busiest airport, which is complements Essendon
Essendon Airport
Essendon Airport is located at Essendon, in Melbourne's northern suburbs, Victoria, Australia. It is located next to the Tullamarine Freeway on , from the Melbourne Central Business District and from Melbourne Airport.-History:...

 and Moorabbin Airport
Moorabbin Airport
Moorabbin Airport is a general aviation airport for light aircraft located in Mentone, Victoria, Australia. The airport grounds are treated as their own suburb, designated the postcode 3194. The airport opened in December 1949. Originally the intent was to name the airport "Mentone" but this was...

s to see the remainder of Melbourne's air traffic. Hamilton Airport
Hamilton Airport (Australia)
Hamilton Airport is located about 12 km from Hamilton, Victoria, Australia. The airport is about 400km west of Melbourne and is home to Sharp Airlines and the Hamilton Aero Club. The terminal, called the "Sir RM Ansett terminal" is named after Reginald Miles Ansett....

, Mildura Airport
Mildura Airport
Mildura Airport is located in Mildura, Victoria, Australia. It is the busiest regional airport in Victoria and has twice been named Australia's Rural Airport of the Year....

, Mount Hotham
Mount Hotham
Mount Hotham is a mountain in Victoria, Australia. It is home to Hotham Alpine Resort. The mountain is located approximately north east of Melbourne, from Sydney, and from Adelaide by road. Mt Hotham's summit rises to an altitude of above sea level...

 and Portland Airport
Portland Airport (Australia)
Portland Airport is located at Portland, Victoria, Australia, 365 km southwest of Melbourne along the Princes Highway. The airport is home to the Portland Aero Club and the Sharp Airlines maintenance base....

 are the remaining airports with scheduled domestic flights. There are no fewer than 27 other airports in the state with no scheduled flights.

The Port of Melbourne
Port of Melbourne
The Port of Melbourne is Australia's busiest port for containerised and general cargo. It is located in Melbourne, Victoria and covers an area at the mouth of the Yarra River, downstream of Bolte Bridge, which is at the head of Port Phillip, as well as several piers on the bay itself...

 is the largest port for containerised and general cargo in Australia, and is located in Melbourne on the mouth of the Yarra River
Yarra River
The Yarra River, originally Birrarung, is a river in east-central Victoria, Australia. The lower stretches of the river is where the city of Melbourne was established in 1835 and today Greater Melbourne dominates and influences the landscape of its lower reaches...

, which is at the head of Port Phillip
Port Phillip
Port Phillip Port Phillip Port Phillip (also commonly referred to as Port Phillip Bay or (locally) just The Bay, is a large bay in southern Victoria, Australia; it is the location of Melbourne. Geographically, the bay covers and the shore stretches roughly . Although it is extremely shallow for...

. Additional seaports are at Westernport, Geelong
Port of Geelong
The Port of Geelong is located on the shores of Corio Bay in Geelong, Victoria, Australia. The port is the sixth-largest in Australia by tonnage....

, and Portland
Portland, Victoria
The city of Portland is the oldest European settlement in what is now the state of Victoria, Australia. It is the main urban centre of the Shire of Glenelg. It is located on Portland Bay.-History:...

.

Energy


Victoria's major utilities include a collection of brown-coal-fired power stations, particularly in the Latrobe Valley. One of these is Hazelwood Power Station, which is number 1 in the worldwide List of least carbon efficient power stations.

Water


Victoria's water infrastructure includes a series of dams and reservoirs, predominantly in Central Victoria, that hold and collect water for much of the state. The water collected is of a very high quality and requires little chlorination treatment, giving the water a taste more like water collected in a rainwater tank. In regional areas however, such as in the west of the state, chlorination levels are much higher.

The Victorian Water Grid consists of a number of new connections and pipelines being built across the State. This allows water to be moved around Victoria to where it is needed most and reduces the impact of localised droughts in an era thought to be influenced by climate change. Major projects already completed as part of the Grid include the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline and the Goldfields Superpipe.

Climate

Average monthly maximum
temperature in Victoria
Month Melbourne Mildura
January 25.8 °C 32.8 °C
February 25.8 °C 32.7 °C
March 23.8 °C 29.3 °C
April 20.2 °C 24.1 °C
May 16.6 °C 19.6 °C
June 14.0 °C 16.0 °C
July 13.4 °C 15.4 °C
August 14.9 °C 17.7 °C
September 17.2 °C 21.1 °C
October 19.6 °C 25.0 °C
November 21.8 °C 29.0 °C
December 24.1 °C 31.7 °C
Source: Bureau of Meteorology


Victoria has a varied climate despite its small size. It ranges from semi-arid and hot in the north-west, to temperate and cool along the coast. Victoria's main land feature, the Great Dividing Range, produces a cooler, mountain climate in the centre of the state.

Victoria's southernmost position on the Australian mainland means it is cooler and wetter than other mainland states and territories. The coastal plain south of the Great Dividing Range has Victoria's mildest climate. Air from the Southern Ocean
Southern Ocean
The Southern Ocean comprises the southernmost waters of the World Ocean, generally taken to be south of 60°S latitude and encircling Antarctica. It is usually regarded as the fourth-largest of the five principal oceanic divisions...

 helps reduce the heat of summer and the cold of winter. Melbourne and other large cities are located in this temperate region.

The Mallee
The Mallee
The Mallee is the most northwesterly district in the state of Victoria, and also encompasses the agricultural district of South Australia. Definitions vary, however all are based on the Victorian distribution of mallee eucalypts...

 and upper Wimmera
Wimmera
The Wimmera is a region in the west of the Australian state of Victoria.It covers the dryland farming area south of the range of Mallee scrub, east of the South Australia border and north of the Great Dividing Range...

 are Victoria's warmest regions with hot winds blowing from nearby deserts. Average temperatures top 30 °C (86 °F) during summer and 15 °C (59 °F) in winter. Victoria's highest maximum temperature of 48.8 °C (119.9 °F) was recorded in Hopetoun
Hopetoun, Victoria
Hopetoun is a town which serves as the major service centre for the Southern Mallee area of Victoria, Australia. Hopetoun is situated 400 kilometres north-west of Melbourne on the Henty Highway in the Shire of Yarriambiack...

 on 7 February 2009, during the 2009 southeastern Australia heat wave.

The Victorian Alps in the northeast are the coldest part of Victoria. The Alps are part of the Great Dividing Range mountain system extending east-west through the centre of Victoria. Average temperatures are less than 9 °C (48 °F) in winter and below 0 °C (32 °F) in the highest parts of the ranges. The state's lowest minimum temperature of −11.7 °C (10.9 °F) was recorded at Omeo
Omeo, Victoria
Omeo is a town in Victoria, Australia, located on the Great Alpine Road, east of Mount Hotham, in the Shire of East Gippsland. At the 2006 census, Omeo had a population of 452. The name is derived from the Aboriginal word for 'mountains' or 'hills'...

 on 13 June 1965, and again at Falls Creek
Falls Creek, Victoria
Falls Creek is a ski-in, ski-out ski resort in north-eastern Victoria, Australia. It is located about 350 kilometres by road from Melbourne in the Alpine National Park, with the nearest town Mount Beauty, approximately 30 kilometres away. The resort lies between an altitude of 1,210 and 1,830...

 on 3 July 1970.

Rainfall


Victoria is the wettest Australian state after Tasmania
Tasmania
Tasmania is an Australian island and state. It is south of the continent, separated by Bass Strait. The state includes the island of Tasmania—the 26th largest island in the world—and the surrounding islands. The state has a population of 507,626 , of whom almost half reside in the greater Hobart...

. Rainfall in Victoria increases from north to south, with higher averages in areas of high altitude. Median annual rainfall exceeds 1,800 millimetres (71 in) in some parts of the northeast but is less than 250 millimetres (10 in) in the Mallee.

Rain is heaviest in the Otway Ranges and Gippsland in southern Victoria and in the mountainous northeast. Snow generally falls only in the mountains and hills in the centre of the state. Rain falls most frequently in winter, but summer precipitation is heavier. Rainfall is most reliable in Gippsland and the Western District, making them both leading farming areas. Victoria's highest recorded daily rainfall was 375 millimetres (14.7 in) at Tanybryn in the Otway Ranges on 22 March 1983.




Source: Bureau of Meteorology, Department of Primary Industries, Australian Natural Resources Atlas


Tourism


Some major tourist destinations in Victoria are:
  • The metropolis of Melbourne, particular its inner city suburbs (known also for shopping tourism) and the attractions of the city centre
    Melbourne city centre
    Melbourne City Centre is an area of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia. It is not to be confused with the larger local government area of the City of Melbourne...

     such as Crown Casino
    Crown Casino
    Crown Casino and Entertainment Complex is a large casino and entertainment precinct located on the south bank of the Yarra River, in Melbourne, Australia. Crown Casino is a unit of Crown Limited....

    , Melbourne Zoo
    Melbourne Zoo
    The Royal Melbourne Zoological Gardens, commonly known as the Melbourne Zoo, contains more than 320 animal species from Australia and around the world. The zoo is north of the centre of Melbourne. It is accessible via Royal Park station on the Upfield railway line, and is also accessible via tram...

    , Melbourne Museum
    Melbourne Museum
    Melbourne Museum is located in the Carlton Gardens in Melbourne, Australia, adjacent the Royal Exhibition Building.It is the largest museum in the Southern Hemisphere, and is a venue of Museum Victoria, which also operates the Immigration Museum and Scienceworks Museum.The museum has seven main...

    , the Melbourne Aquarium
    Melbourne Aquarium
    Melbourne Aquarium is a Southern Ocean and Antarctic aquarium in central Melbourne, Australia. It is located on the banks of the Yarra River beside and under the Flinders Street Viaduct and the King Street Bridge.-History:...

    , ScienceWorks
    Scienceworks Museum (Melbourne)
    Scienceworks is a world renowned science museum in Melbourne, Australia. It is a venue of Museum Victoria which administers the cultural and scientific collections of the State of Victoria...

    , Healesville Sanctuary
    Healesville Sanctuary
    Healesville Sanctuary, or the Sir Colin MacKenzie Fauna Park, is a zoo specializing in native Australian animals. It is located at Healesville in rural Victoria, Australia, and has a history of breeding native animals. It is one of only two places to have successfully bred a platypus, the other...

    , Werribee Open Range Zoo
    Werribee Open Range Zoo
    Werribee Open Range Zoo is an African themed zoo in Werribee, about south-west of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It is part of the Zoological Parks and Gardens Board or 'Zoos Victoria' which also includes Melbourne Zoo and Healesville Sanctuary. It is situated on approximately and is located on...

    , tourism precincts such as Melbourne Docklands
    Melbourne Docklands
    Docklands is an inner city suburb in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia occupying an area extending up to 2 km west of and adjacent to Melbourne's Central Business District . Its Local Government Area is the City of Melbourne...

    , Southbank
    Southbank, Victoria
    Southbank is an inner city suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia located direct south of the Yarra River opposite Melbourne's Hoddle Grid. The northernmost area is considered part of the Central Business District and Central Activities District of the city. Its Local Government Area are the...

     and St Kilda
    St Kilda, Victoria
    St Kilda is an inner city suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 6 km south from Melbourne's central business district. Its Local Government Area is the City of Port Phillip...

     as well as cultural and sporting tourist icons such as The Arts Centre, National Gallery of Victoria
    National Gallery of Victoria
    The National Gallery of Victoria is an art gallery and museum in Melbourne, Australia. Founded in 1861, it is the oldest and the largest public art gallery in Australia. Since December 2003, NGV has operated across two sites...

    , the Melbourne Cricket Ground
    Melbourne Cricket Ground
    The Melbourne Cricket Ground is an Australian sports stadium located in Yarra Park, Melbourne and is home to the Melbourne Cricket Club. It is the tenth largest stadium in the world, the largest in Australia, the largest stadium for playing cricket, and holds the world record for the highest light...

    , also known as the MCG
    Melbourne Cricket Ground
    The Melbourne Cricket Ground is an Australian sports stadium located in Yarra Park, Melbourne and is home to the Melbourne Cricket Club. It is the tenth largest stadium in the world, the largest in Australia, the largest stadium for playing cricket, and holds the world record for the highest light...

    , and the Eureka Tower
    Eureka Tower
    Eureka Tower is a skyscraper located in the Southbank precinct of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Construction began in August 2002 and the exterior completed on 1 June 2006. The plaza was finished in June 2006 and the building was officially opened on 11 October 2006...

    , tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere, with its Skydeck 88.
  • Victoria has more than 2000 kilometres of coastline with hundreds of beaches.
  • The Goldfields region featuring the historic cities of Ballarat, Beechworth, Bendigo, Castlemaine
    Castlemaine, Victoria
    Castlemaine is a city in Victoria, Australia, in the Goldfields region of Victoria about 120 kilometres northwest by road from Melbourne, and about 40 kilometres from the major provincial centre of Bendigo. It is the administrative and economic centre of the Shire of Mount Alexander. The...

    , Maldon
    Maldon, Victoria
    Maldon is a town in Victoria, Australia, in the Shire of Mount Alexander local government area. It has been designated "Australia's first notable town" and is celebrated for its 19th-century appearance, maintained since gold-rush days...

     and Daylesford
    Daylesford, Victoria
    Daylesford is a town located in the Shire of Hepburn, Victoria, Australia. It is a former goldmining town about 115 kilometres north-west of Melbourne, in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range. At the 2006 census, Daylesford had a population of 3,073...

    .
  • Natural attractions, such as The Twelve Apostles
    The Twelve Apostles, Victoria
    The Twelve Apostles is a collection of limestone stacks off the shore of the Port Campbell National Park, by the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia...

    , Wilsons Promontory
    Wilsons Promontory
    Wilsons Promontory is a peninsula that forms the southernmost part of the Australian mainland and is located at . South Point at is the southernmost tip of Wilsons Promontory and hence of mainland Australia...

    , The Grampians
    Grampians National Park
    The Grampians National Park is a national park in Victoria, Australia, 235 kilometres west of Melbourne. The Park was listed on the Australian National Heritage List on 15 December 2006 for its outstanding natural beauty and being one of the richest indigenous rock art sites in south-eastern...

    , the Fairy Penguins
    Little Penguin
    The Little Penguin is the smallest species of penguin. The penguin, which usually grows to an average of in height and in length , is found on the coastlines of southern Australia and New Zealand, with possible records from Chile.Apart from Little Penguins, they have several common names...

     (particularly at Phillip Island and St Kilda
    St Kilda, Victoria
    St Kilda is an inner city suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 6 km south from Melbourne's central business district. Its Local Government Area is the City of Port Phillip...

    ), the Buchan Caves
    Buchan Caves
    The Buchan Caves are a group of caves that include Royal Cave and Fairy Cave, located in Buchan, Victoria, with limestone formations created by underground rivers cutting through limestone rock almost 400 million years ago...

     and the Gippsland Lakes
    Gippsland Lakes
    The Gippsland Lakes are a network of lakes, marshes and lagoons in east Gippsland, Victoria, Australia covering an area of about 600 km2. The largest of the lakes are Lake Wellington , Lake King and Lake Victoria. They are fed by the Avon, Thomson, Latrobe, Mitchell, Nicholson and Tambo...

    .
  • The Dandenong Ranges
    Dandenong Ranges
    The Dandenong Ranges are a set of low mountain ranges, rising to 633 metres at Mount Dandenong, approximately 35 km east of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia...

     (in particular the Puffing Billy Railway
    Puffing Billy Railway, Melbourne
    The Puffing Billy Railway is a narrow gauge gauge heritage railway in the Dandenong Ranges near Melbourne, Australia. The primary starting point, operations and administration centre, main refreshment room and ticket purchasing are located at Belgrave station...

    ).
  • Towns along the Murray River and Riverina including Echuca
    Echuca, Victoria
    Echuca is a town located on the banks of the Murray River and Campaspe river in Victoria, Australia. The Border town Moama is on the northern side of the Murray river in New South Wales. It is the administrative centre and largest settlement in the Shire of Campaspe...

     and Mildura including waterskiing.
  • Geelong
    Geelong, Victoria
    Geelong is a port city located on Corio Bay and the Barwon River, in the state of Victoria, Australia, south-west of the state capital; Melbourne. It is the second most populated city in Victoria and the fifth most populated non-capital city in Australia...

     and the Australian International Airshow
    Australian International Airshow
    The Australian International Airshow, also called the Avalon Airshow, is a large air show held biennially at Avalon Airport, between Melbourne and Geelong, Victoria. It regularly features planes from the Royal Australian Air Force, United States Navy and the United States Air Force...

  • The Bellarine Peninsula
    Bellarine Peninsula
    The Bellarine Peninsula is a peninsula located south-west of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia, surrounded by Port Phillip, Corio Bay and Bass Strait. The peninsula, together with the Mornington Peninsula separates Port Phillip from Bass Strait...

     which features historic resort towns such as Queenscliff
    Queenscliff, Victoria
    Queenscliff is a small town on the Bellarine Peninsula in southern Victoria, Australia, south of Swan Bay at the entrance to Port Phillip. It is the administrative centre for the Borough of Queenscliffe...

    .
  • The Surf Coast which features famous beaches such as Bells Beach, Torquay
    Torquay, Victoria
    Torquay is a township in Victoria, Australia, which faces Bass Strait, 21 km. south of Geelong and is the gateway to the Great Ocean Road. It is bordered on the west by Spring Creek and its coastal features include Point Danger and Zeally Bay...

     and Lorne
  • Mornington Peninsula
    Mornington Peninsula
    The Mornington Peninsula is a peninsula located south-east of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia. It is surrounded by Port Phillip to the west, Western Port to the east and Bass Strait to the south, and is connected to the mainland in the north. Geographically, the peninsula begins its protrusion...

    , particularly for its wineries and secluded beaches, Arthur's Seat and the coastal attractions of Portsea
    Portsea, Victoria
    Portsea is a resort town located across Port Phillip from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Its Local Government Area is the Shire of Mornington Peninsula....

     and Sorrento
    Sorrento, Victoria
    Sorrento is a township in Victoria, Australia, located on the shores of Port Phillip on the Mornington Peninsula, about one and a half hours south of Melbourne...

    .
  • Yarra Valley
    Yarra Valley
    The Yarra Valley is the name given to the region surrounding the Yarra River in Victoria, Australia. The river originates approximately 90 kilometres east of the City of Melbourne and flows towards it and out into Port Phillip Bay...

     (in particular Healesville Sanctuary
    Healesville Sanctuary
    Healesville Sanctuary, or the Sir Colin MacKenzie Fauna Park, is a zoo specializing in native Australian animals. It is located at Healesville in rural Victoria, Australia, and has a history of breeding native animals. It is one of only two places to have successfully bred a platypus, the other...

     and wineries).
  • Great Ocean Road
    Great Ocean Road
    The Great Ocean Road is a stretch of road along the south-eastern coast of Australia between the Victorian cities of Torquay and Warrnambool. The road was built by returned soldiers between 1919 and 1932, and is the world's largest war memorial; dedicated to casualties of World War I...

    , which features The Twelve Apostles, historic towns of Port Fairy
    Port Fairy, Victoria
    Port Fairy is a coastal town in south-western Victoria, Australia. It lies on the Princes Highway in the Shire of Moyne, west of Warrnambool and 290 km west of Melbourne, at the point where the Moyne River enters the Southern Ocean.-History:...

     and Portland
    Portland, Victoria
    The city of Portland is the oldest European settlement in what is now the state of Victoria, Australia. It is the main urban centre of the Shire of Glenelg. It is located on Portland Bay.-History:...

    , cliffs and whale watching and resort towns such as Lorne
    Lorne, Victoria
    Lorne is a seaside town on Louttit Bay in Victoria, Australia. It is situated about the Erskine River and is a popular destination on the Great Ocean Road tourist route...

    .
  • The Victorian Alpine Region, part of the Australian Alps
    Australian Alps
    The Australian Alps are the highest mountain ranges of mainland Australia. They are located in southeastern Australia and straddle the Australian Capital Territory, south-eastern New South Wales and eastern Victoria...

    , particularly for skiing
  • The Central Victorian Highlands, 'Highcountry' are very well known for winter sports and bushwalking
  • Wine regions
    Victorian wine
    Victorian wine is wine made in the Australian state of Victoria. With over 600 wineries, Victoria has more wine producers than any other Australian wine-producing state but ranks third in overall wine production due to the lack of a mass bulk wine-producing area like South Australia's Riverland and...

     across the entire state.


Other popular tourism activities are gliding, hang-gliding, hot air ballooning and scuba diving.

Major events also play a big part in tourism in Victoria, particularly cultural tourism and sports tourism. Most of these events are centred around Melbourne, but others occur in regional cities, such as the V8 Supercars and Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix at Phillip Island, the Grand Annual Steeplechase at Warrnambool and the Australian International Airshow
Australian International Airshow
The Australian International Airshow, also called the Avalon Airshow, is a large air show held biennially at Avalon Airport, between Melbourne and Geelong, Victoria. It regularly features planes from the Royal Australian Air Force, United States Navy and the United States Air Force...

 at Geelong and numerous local festivals such as the popular Port Fairy Folk Festival
Port Fairy Folk Festival
The Port Fairy Folk Festival is a popular annual four-day music festival based in the historic fishing village of Port Fairy in Victoria, Australia....

, Queenscliff Music Festival
Queenscliff Music Festival
Queenscliff Music Festival is a live music festival held in the town of Queenscliff, located on the Bellarine Peninsula, Victoria, Australia. The festival began in 1997 and is held annually on the last weekend of November.- External links :* * *...

, Bells Beach SurfClassic and the Bright
Bright, Victoria
Bright is a small sized town, located in northeastern Victoria, Australia, 319 metres above sea level at the southeastern end of the Ovens Valley. At the 2006 census, Bright had a population of 2684. It is in the Alpine Shire local government area...

 Autumn Festival.

Sport




Victoria is the home of Australian rules football
Australian rules football
Australian rules football, officially known as Australian football, also called football, Aussie rules or footy is a sport played between two teams of 22 players on either...

, with ten of the seventeen clubs of the Australian Football League
Australian Football League
The Australian Football League is both the governing body and the major professional competition in the sport of Australian rules football...

 based in Victoria, and the traditional Grand Final
AFL Grand Final
The AFL Grand Final is an annual Australian rules football match, traditionally held on the final Saturday in September at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne, Australia to determine the Australian Football League premiership champions for that year...

 held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground
Melbourne Cricket Ground
The Melbourne Cricket Ground is an Australian sports stadium located in Yarra Park, Melbourne and is home to the Melbourne Cricket Club. It is the tenth largest stadium in the world, the largest in Australia, the largest stadium for playing cricket, and holds the world record for the highest light...

 usually on the last Saturday in September.

Victoria's cricket team, the Victorian Bushrangers
Victorian Bushrangers
The Victorian cricket team, nicknamed the Bushrangers, is an Australian cricket team based in Melbourne, that represents the state of Victoria. It is administered by Cricket Victoria and draws its players from Melbourne's Premier Cricket competition...

 play in the national Sheffield Shield cricket competition. Victoria is represented in the National Rugby League
National Rugby League
The National Rugby League is the top league of professional rugby league football clubs in Australasia. The NRL's main competition, called the Telstra Premiership , is contested by sixteen teams, fifteen of which are based in Australia with one based in New Zealand...

 by the Melbourne Storm
Melbourne Storm
The Melbourne Storm are an Australian professional rugby league club based in the city of Melbourne. They are the first fully professional rugby league team based in the Australian rules football-dominated state of Victoria....

 and in Super Rugby by the Melbourne Rebels
Melbourne Rebels
The Melbourne Rebels are a professional rugby union team based in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. They made their debut in SANZAR's Super Rugby tournament in 2011. They are the first privately owned professional rugby union team in Australia...

. It is also represented in Football (soccer) by Melbourne Victory
Melbourne Victory
Melbourne Victory Football Club is an Australian professional football club based in Melbourne, Victoria, that plays in the A-League....

 and Melbourne Heart in the A-League
A-League
The A-League is the top Australasian professional football league. Run by Australian governing body Football Federation Australia , it was founded in 2004 following the folding of the National Soccer League and staged its inaugural season in 2005–06. It is sponsored by Hyundai Motor Company...

.

Melbourne has held the 1956 Summer Olympics
1956 Summer Olympics
The 1956 Melbourne Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XVI Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event which was held in Melbourne, Australia, in 1956, with the exception of the equestrian events, which could not be held in Australia due to quarantine regulations...

, 2006 Commonwealth Games
2006 Commonwealth Games
The 2006 Commonwealth Games were held in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia between 15 March and 26 March 2006. It was the largest sporting event to be staged in Melbourne, eclipsing the 1956 Summer Olympics in terms of the number of teams competing, athletes competing, and events being held.The site...

 and the FINA World Swimming Championship.

Melbourne is also home to the Australian Open
Australian Open
The Australian Open is the only Grand Slam tennis tournament held in the southern hemisphere. The tournament was held for the first time in 1905 and was last contested on grass in 1987. Since 1972 the Australian Open has been held in Melbourne, Victoria. In 1988, the tournament became a hard court...

 tennis tournament in January each year, the first of the world's four Grand Slam tennis tournaments, and the Australian Formula One Grand Prix
Australian Grand Prix
The Australian Grand Prix is a motor race held annually and is held to be the pinnacle of motor racing in Australia. The Grand Prix is the oldest surviving motor racing competition held in Australia having been held 76 times since it was first run at Phillip Island in 1928. Since 1985 the race has...

.

Victoria's Bells Beach hosts one of the world's longest-running surfing competition, the Bells Beach SurfClassic, which is part of The ASP World Tour.

Netball
Netball
Netball is a ball sport played between two teams of seven players. Its development, derived from early versions of basketball, began in England in the 1890s. By 1960 international playing rules had been standardised for the game, and the International Federation of Netball and Women's Basketball ...

 is a big part of sport in Victoria. The Melbourne Vixens
Melbourne Vixens
The Melbourne Vixens are an Australian netball team in Melbourne that compete in the trans-Tasman ANZ Championship. The team were formed in 2007 as an amalgamation of the Melbourne Phoenix and Melbourne Kestrels from the previous Commonwealth Bank Trophy. Sharelle McMahon and Bianca Chatfield have...

 represent Victoria in the ANZ Championship
ANZ Championship
The ANZ Championship is the pre-eminent netball league in the world. The competition is held annually between April and July, comprising 69 matches played over 17 weeks. It is contested by ten teams, five from Australia and five from New Zealand...

. Some of the worlds best netballers such as Sharelle McMahon
Sharelle McMahon
Sharelle Jane McMahon is an Australian netball player and former captain of the Australian national netball team...

, Renae Hallinan
Renae Hallinan
Renae Hallinan is an Australian international netballer. Primarily a wing-defence and centre player, Hallinan is a member of the Australian national team and plays in the ANZ Championship for the Melbourne Vixens...

, Madison Browne
Madison Browne
Madison Browne is an Australian international netball player. Browne was included in the Australian national squad in 2007 after the World Championships in November. She debuted in the Commonwealth Bank Trophy in 2006, playing with the Melbourne Kestrels. In 2008, Browne signed with the Melbourne...

, Julie Corletto and Bianca Chatfield
Bianca Chatfield
Bianca Lee Chatfield is an Australian netball player. In 2001, she was selected for the Australian team to tour three-nations test series against England and New Zealand in the UK. Bianca plays in the positions of GK and GD...

 come from Victoria.

Possibly Victoria's most famous island, Phillip Island, is home of the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit
Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit
The Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit is a motor racing racing circuit on Phillip Island, Victoria, Australia. The circuit was opened in 1956.-Road circuit:...

 which hosts the Australian motorcycle Grand Prix
Australian motorcycle Grand Prix
The Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix is a motorcycling event that is part of the Grand Prix motorcycle racing season. It is held each year at the scenic Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit.-Winners of the Australian motorcycle Grand Prix:...

 which features MotoGP
Grand Prix motorcycle racing
Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix is the premier championship of motorcycle road racing currently divided into three distinct classes: 125cc, Moto2 and MotoGP. The 125cc class uses a two-stroke engine while Moto2 and MotoGP use four-stroke engines. In 2010 the 250cc two-stroke was replaced...

 (the world's premier motorcycling class), as well as the Australian round of the World Superbike Championship and the domestic V8 Supercar
V8 Supercar
V8 Supercars is a touring car racing category based in Australia and run as an International Series under Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile regulations...

 racing, which also visits Sandown Raceway
Sandown Raceway
Sandown International Raceway is a motor racing circuit in Melbourne, Victoria, approximately south east of the city centre. It is considered a power circuit with its front straight being 899m long and back straight 910m long.-History:...

 and the rural Winton Motor Raceway
Winton Motor Raceway
Winton Motor Raceway is a Motor Racing track in Winton, near Benalla, Victoria, Australia.-History:The Benalla Auto Club began planning for a permanent racing track around 1958. In 1960 it was decided to build the track at Winton Recreation Reserve and was completed in twelve months...

 circuit.

Australia's most prestigious footrace, the Stawell Gift
Stawell Gift
The Stawell Gift is Australia's oldest and richest short distance running race. It is run over every Easter weekend by the Stawell Athletic Club, with the main race finals on the holiday Monday, at Central Park, Stawell in the Grampian Mountains district of western Victoria.The race is run on grass...

, is an annual event.

Victoria is also home to the Aussie Millions poker tournament, the richest in the Southern hemisphere.

The Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival
Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival
The Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival is the name of a Melbourne, Australia Thoroughbred horse racing series held annually during October and November .-The Carnival and its status in the wider community:...

 is one of the biggest horse racing events in the world and is one of the world's largest sporting events. The main race is for the $6 million Melbourne Cup
Melbourne Cup
The Melbourne Cup is Australia's major Thoroughbred horse race. Marketed as "the race that stops a nation", it is a 3,200 metre race for three-year-olds and over. It is the richest "two-mile" handicap in the world, and one of the richest turf races...

, and crowds for the carnival exceed 700,000.

See also


  • 2003 Melbourne thunderstorm
    2003 Melbourne thunderstorm
    The 2003 Melbourne thunderstorm was a severe weather event that occurred over the city of Melbourne, Australia, and surrounding areas of Victoria, from 1 December to 6 December 2003...

  • Atlas of Victorian Birds
    Atlas of Victorian Birds
    The Atlas of Victorian Birds is a bird atlas, published in 1987, covering the distribution of birds in the Australian state of Victoria. It is based largely on 615,000 field records of birds in Victoria from the Atlas of Australian Birds database, gathered by volunteers in the course of the Royal...



Geography:
  • Goombala Road
    Goombala Road
    Goombala Road is a major throughway within Tarra-Bulga National Park in South Gippsland, Australia. It runs the inside border of the park. It roughly parallels Traralgon Creek....

  • Victorian Alps
  • Vicmap Topographic Map Series
    Vicmap Topographic Map Series
    Vicmap Topographic Map Series is a series of topographic maps covering the State of Victoria, Australia. Created and maintained by the State of Victoria, the map series is currently in a transition phase, with traditional Vicmap Topographic maps being gradually replaced with a new map...



Lists:

Further Reading—Victorian Frontier History

  • Jan Critchett, (1990), A distant field of murder: Western district frontiers, 1834-1848, Melbourne University Press (Carlton, Vic. and Portland, Or.) ISBN 052284389
  • Ian D Clark (1990) Aboriginal languages and clans: An historical atlas of western and central Victoria, 1800-1900, Dept. of Geography & Environmental Science, Monash University (Melbourne), ISBN 090968541X
  • Ian D Clark (1995), Scars in the landscape: A register of massacre sites in western Victoria, 1803-1859, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (Canberra), ISBN 0855752815
  • Ian D Clark (2003) ‘That’s my country belonging to me’ - Aboriginal land tenure and dispossession in nineteenth century Western Victoria, Ballarat Heritage Services, Ballarat.

External links